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LEEDING the Way: Domestic Architecture for…

LEEDING the Way: Domestic Architecture for the Future: LEED Certified,…

by E. Ashley Rooney

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While I’m not much of a coffee table book aficionado, LEEDing the Way proved more than superficial thanks to hundreds of ideas that should inspire thousands more. It lays the groundwork, explaining the LEED point system for evaluating the greenness, and also delves into passive homes, sealed against the world, and natural homes, literally made of straw in the examples shown.

My own favorite is right on the cover, in Washington. They incorporated an old grain silo, making it into a very high ceilinged dining room (criminally not showing the interior) in a gorgeous home. There are homes that leverage the sea breeze, leverage the view, incorporate the original building, and defeat the sun while saving the water. They are from all over the country, from every climate and every topography. There’s even an entire community in Maine of totally different homes, whose front doors open onto a common interior hallway and space, including a meeting room and guest facilities. The backside of the homes has the view. It’s all most enjoyable and instructive.

I designed our home to be as green as possible, and this book made me feel good about what I accomplished without resorting to the expensive LEED oversight and process. In many cases, my home does better than the stunning examples. For example, we did not pour concrete for the driveway or patio, as most did. Concrete is expensive and unnatural; it heaves, sinks, cracks, and needs patching and sealing. Bluestone and gravel have life expectancies in the millions of years vs the 25-150 of concrete. I also designed the hallways out. My years in Manhattan made me come to hate them as huge wasters of heat and air conditioning, expensive and pointless square footage that add only to the monthly maintenance fees. Those who avoided them get my vote as well. From what’s shown in LEEDing the Way, I think our place would score quite comfortably within LEED.

There are probably enough homes like mine below the radar, that deserve to inspire even more people to build simple, build green, and build sustainably. It’s like going to the gym; just the fact you do it at all makes you better off, whether you do the exercises optimally or not. You don’t need LEED to lead, but I guess it’s nice to be “official”.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Jul 1, 2015 |
Inspirational, Sustainable, and Cool.
I am an absolute sucker for what many people call “extreme” homes, so I really enjoyed Leeding The Way, ed. By E. Ashley Rooney, Ross Cann, Adam Prince and Virge Temme. The books takes you through over fifty designs for environmentally friendly houses. All of these buildings are meant to be healthy, comfortable and sustainable, using as few chemicals and as little energy as possible. All of that is shown with beautiful pictures, and clear, understandable text. What grabbed me the most, though, is just how beautiful most of these homes are.

Reading this book will definitely show that there is no reason to sacrifice aesthetics while designing, building and living in a sustainable “Green “house. There is a staggering variety of designs as well, from cabins to prefabricated and renovated homes. The descriptions of the homes, and what goes into their design and construction is crystal clear, and in case you don’t know what you are reading about there is a very helpful glossary. What makes this book such a joy for me was how often my jaw dropped at the beauty and ingenuity of these wonderful constructions? So you can enjoy this as eyes candy, and it’s all environmentally sound to boot. You can’t beat that.
Review by: Mark Palm
Full Reviews Available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.co...

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764349252, Hardcover)

This book takes you through 53 homes that reflect the growing trend for environmentally-friendly houses. Resource- and energy-efficient residences are designed to be healthy, comfortable, and easy-to-live-in, and construction of a sustainable home includes using less energy, fewer natural resources, and fewer toxic chemicals. The homes featured here meet a variety of guidelines: LEED, a point-based system with specific certification criteria; Green, a construction standard based on reduction of energy use; Passive, a design standard that can result in a super-insulated, airtight home; andNatural, a type of “green” construction using natural resources without technological intervention. More than 300 images show a wide variety of designs and styles, including cottages and beach houses, prairie and vineyard residences, prefabricated and renovated homes, and much more.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:23:47 -0400)

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